Yesterday our household was honored to recieve two visitors from afar. I suppose that makes them sound like the Magi! Not so. It makes me so happy when they are able to visit us, as they are so special to me: these two guests are my maternal grandfather's first cousin and her husband...and to both shorten and sweeten that distant-sounding explanation of relationship, we have recently decided to classify ourselves with the following titles: Great Aunt Kathleen and Great Uncle Walter, and they refer to me as their niece. These designations are far cozier than before, when we didn't really call one another anything. Interesting how names and titles succeed in making people dearer to each other.
Another part of the reason I was so excited and honored to have my Great Aunt and Great Uncle over is because we all have so much in common. We are really kindred spirits, my Aunt and I. It doesn't seem to make a whit of difference that she was born in the 1920s and I was born in 1979 -- we really may as well be sisters. We're both readers, Christians, interested in American history and our family history, we're both quietly anti-feminism, we laugh at the same things, and simply enjoy our visits and our intermittent letter correspondence.
My Great Uncle is a real hero in my opinion, as he is one of the most gentlemanly husbands I've ever met, and he is a World War II veteran. They were passing through our neck of the woods on their way back from a visit to the World War II memorial in DC. I was fairly overwhelmed, inwardly, at the significance and the great honor it is to ahve a veteran of WWII over for tea! I hold such great respect for the work that generation of Americans did. It was good to hear their report/impression of the monument, as their good opinion of it seems to matter. The monument was created to honor him and his fellow veterans, after all. My Uncle Walter and Aunt Kathleen said the monument seemed very triumphant and respectful, and everything it ought to be. This was good news! Also, they approved of its location in relation to the other monuments and buildings of the capital. (I haven't been to DC since 2000, which was before this was complete, so I was especially curious about things). Its off in a wooded area near the Lincoln memorial. And of course, we all smiled at one another and nodded approvingly, it is always good to be in the vicinity of Lincoln!
My honored guests and I enjoyed our short time together greatly: they gave gifts to my daughter, she smiled and was sweet to them in her baby way and happily let them each hold her. I think instinctively she knows how wonderful they are, even though she's only 12 months old. I shyly brought out my last several sewing projects to show Aunt Kathleen, who finds joy in looking at such things. And I showed Uncle Walter the gardening project that my husband and I have undertaken, and he was very impressed. All too soon the tea was over and my relatives had to be on their way. We waved from the driveway and sighed after their vehicle turned the corner. If only we lived closer!